National Poetry Month

Few things are more out of fashion of among contemporary readers (a declining breed as it is) than poetry.  At a Bible study workshop last Saturday I asked a group of PCA women to finish the following sentence: "The problem with poetry is . . . ."

My favorite answer went like this: ". . . it's not prose."  

April is National Poetry Month--a good time to remember that at least one third of the sacred Scriptures are written in poetry.  Our lives are greatly enriched when we take the time it takes to savor the special language of poetry, with the deeper reflection it requires for understanding.  This exercise is especially valuable for preachers, who work with words every week, and whose use of language can only be enhanced by reading more poetry. 

Recently I have started taking a small step in that direction by keeping a volume of poetry beside my bed and reading a couple of poems before turning out the lights.  Right now I'm reading the collected poems of Wendell Berry.  And I'm starting to think about what will I read next.  Donald Hall, perhaps.  Or maybe John Milton. 


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